Fallen television personality Michael Barrymore has spoken of how he reached rock bottom and came close to killing himself after being branded a murderer after a man was found dead in his swimming pool.
The comedian said he felt he had been slowly murdered by the tabloid press and said that although it was too late to take action against the articles written about him, he is bringing cases for phone hacking.
"[The press] killed Michael Barrymore. My [real] name is Michael Parker, but Michael Barrymore is dead," he told The Independent.
"Although I have been a couple of times to the jumping-off point, I didn't kill myself. If I had, it would have completed the story."
Ecstasy and cocaine were found in Stuart Lubbock's blood after he was found dead in the grounds of Barrymore's Essex mansion in March 2001.
But more scandalous were internal injuries suggesting the 31-year-old was the victim of a sexual assault before his death.
Barrymore said: "I never shy away from the fact that I'm an alcoholic and that I have had my problems, but I've never murdered anybody.
"I've never got up in the morning and thought I'll harm someone. I've just had an extraordinary sequence of events that have been on public display, that I've had no control over.
"It was just a party that went disastrously wrong, with a tragic ending. I've basically been framed for a murder - one that didn't take place."
Although the police seemed satisfied the entertainer had not been directly involved in Mr Lubbock's death, the investigation, and an inquest which recorded an open verdict in 2002, destroyed his popularity.